Contact Us
Department of East Asian Studies
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: (610) 526-5332
FAX: (610) 526-7479

Haverford College
Founders 123
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041
Phone: (610) 795-1756

Program Requirements and Opportunities

The information listed below is a direct excerpt from the 2014-15 Course Catalog.

Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

2014-15 Catalog
2013-14 Catalog
2012-13 Catalog
2011-12 Catalog

Students may complete a major in East Asian Languages and Cultures, a minor in Chinese language or Japanese language, or a (non-language) minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures

The Bi-College Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) links rigorous language training to the study of East Asian, particularly Chinese and Japanese, culture and society. In addition to our intensive programs in Chinese and Japanese languages, departmental faculty offer courses in East Asian literature, religion, film, art and visual culture, and social and intellectual history. The intellectual orientation of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is centered on primary textual and visual sources; that is, we focus on East Asia's rich cultural traditions as a way to understand its present, through the study of a wide range of literary and historical texts (in translation and in the original), images, film, and scholarly books and articles. All students wishing to specialize in this humanistic approach to the study of China, Japan, and East Asia more generally are encouraged to consider the EALC major. We also work closely with affiliated faculty in the Bi-Co and Tri-Co community who approach East Asia from the perspective of such social science disciplines as anthropology, economics, political science, sociology and the growth and structure of cities, as well as with faculty in history, music, religion and philosophy. Our majors are encouraged to take advantage of these programs to supplement their EALC coursework. Most courses in the major, though, will be taken within the department itself. We also offer an EALC minor, described more fully below.

East Asian Languages

The Bi-College Chinese Program offers five years of instruction in Mandarin Chinese. First-year Chinese (CNSE001-002) and Second-year Chinese (CNSE003-004) both have master and drill sections. First-year Chinese (CNSE001-002) is a year-long course. Both semesters must be completed in order to receive credit. Advanced Chinese, offered each semester with a different topic, can be taken as Fourth- or Fifth-year Chinese, with one credit per semester, and repeated as long as the topics differ. For students with a background in Chinese, we offer CNSE007-008 after administering a placement test. Upon completion of this full year sequence, students move on to Second-year Chinese. The approved Study Abroad program for Chinese is CET. If you have any questions, please contact the Director of the Chinese Program, Shizhe Huang (, who also serves as the advisor for Chinese Minor.

The Bi-College Japanese Program offers four years of instruction in modern Japanese. First-year Japanese (JNSE001-002), taught at Haverford, is six hours (one hour on MWF and ninety minutes on TTh) per week; unlike Chinese language courses, there is no distinction between master and drill sections. Students should register for one of the MWF sessions and choose one of the TTh sessions. Second through Fourth-year (Advanced) Japanese (JNSE003-004, JNSE101-102, and JNSE201A/B) all meet at Haverford. The first-year and second-year courses in Japanese (JNSE001-002 and 003-004 respectively) meet five days a week. For the first-year courses, both semesters must be completed in order to obtain credit, whereas students earn credit for each semester for the second-year courses and above. If you have any questions, please contact Tetsuya Sato (tsato@haverford. edu) for clarification.

East Asian Languages and Culture Major Requirements

EALC majors are required to demonstrate third-year-level competence in Chinese or Japanese, either by passing a placement assessment or completing the relevant third-year course (that is, CNSE 101-102 or JNSE 101-102). Korean language instruction is offered at the University of Pennsylvania, but does not count towards the Bi-Co EALC major.

Beyond demonstrating language competence, EALC majors are required to take THREE core courses from the following array of courses:

  • One 100-level course on China from among 110 (Introduction to Chinese Lit.), 120 (Individual and Society in China), or 131 (Chinese Civ.); and
  • One 100-level course on Japan from among 132 (Japanese Civ) or a variety of new 100-level courses on Japan currently in development.
  • EALC 200: Methods and Approaches to East Asian Cultures (fulfills the Writing Intensive Major Requirement)
    EALC 200 is required of all EALC majors and minors. Majors are urged to take 200 in the Spring of their sophomore year; minors may take it during their junior or senior year. Please note that EALC 200 serves as the designated departmental Writing Intensive course (30 pages of writing), now required of all departments by Bryn Mawr. Students must earn a grade of 2.0 or higher to continue in the major and be eligible to write a senior thesis.

In addition, majors must take THREE additional non-language courses offered by members of the Bi-Co EALC Department (Glassman, Jiang, Kwa, Schoneveld, Smith). On signing up for the major, students should work with the departmental co-chair on their campus to select courses that are intellectually complementary. The Departmental Elective Courses cannot be satisfied by courses outside the department, or by courses taken abroad. At least one of these three courses must be at the 300 level.

In order to encourage a sampling of approaches to East Asia beyond EALC or the Bi-Co community, students are required to take two courses related to East Asia from the wider array of courses offered outside the Department and/or from Study Abroad courses approved by their advisor, at least one of which must be at the 300 level. These courses may not substitute for the three Core and three elective courses offered by the EALC faculty.

Finally, students are required to complete a senior thesis (EALC 398, 1 credit). Although the majority of the thesis will be done in the Fall semester, the final draft will be completed and formally presented early in the Spring semester.


Placement Tests
Placement tests for first-time students at all levels are conducted by the two language programs, respectively, in the week before classes start in the fall semester. To qualify for third-year language courses students need to finish Second-year courses with a score of 3.0 or above in all four areas of training: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In the event that students do not meet the minimum grade at the conclusion of Second-year language study, they must consult with the director of the respective language program and work out a summer study plan that may include taking summer courses or studying on their own under supervision. They must take a placement test before starting Third-year language study in the fall. (Similarly, students who do not finish Third-year with a score at or higher than 3.0 in any of the four areas must also take a placement exam before entering Fourth-year.)

Study Abroad
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures strongly recommends study abroad to maximize language proficiency and cultural familiarity. Formal approval is required by the study abroad adviser prior to the student's travel. Without this approval, credit for courses taken abroad may not be accepted by the EALC Department. If studying abroad is not practical, students may consider attending certain intensive summer schools approved by the EALC Department. These plans must be worked out in concert with the department's study abroad adviser and the student's dean.

The Minors
The EALC Department certifies three minors: Chinese language (Advisor: Shizhe Huang), Japanese language (Advisor: Tetsuya Sato), and East Asian Languages and Cultures (Advisors: EALC co-chairs). The two language minors both require six language courses, and may be fulfilled concurrently with the EALC major. The EALC minor requires six courses, all of which must be taken from among courses offered by the EALC departmental faculty; the mix must include EALC 200 and one 300-level course. Minors with a focus on other aspects of East Asia will be served by the Global Asia concentration, currently under discussion.

East Asian Languages

The East Asian Languages and Culture Studies welcomes students who wish to combine their interests in East Asian languages with the study of an East Asian culture. These students are urged to consult the Co-Chair of East Asian Languages and Culture Studies on either campus, who will advise them on creating individual plans of study in appropriate departments.

Chinese Language

The Bi-Co Chinese Program offers five years of instruction in Mandarin Chinese. In addition to First-Year, Second-Year, and Third-Year Chinese, we offer Advanced Chinese, which is a two-year, four-course series, covering topics such as food, music, and language in Chinese culture, as well as other contemporary topics. This curricular design maximizes our teaching resources to meet the needs of our students who, in increasing numbers, either arrive at college with multiple years of Chinese in secondary schools or who have accelerated their Chinese training by studying abroad in their junior year. We also offer a year-long course for those who have facility in speaking Chinese, but have had no or limited training in reading and writing (CNSE007-008). Upon completing CNSE007-008, this group of students will continue their training in Second-Year Chinese.

The faculty in our program are seasoned and hard-working professionals dedicated to providing rigorous training in all four areas of Chinese language studies--speaking, listening, reading, and writing, in a caring and individually tailored environment. (Both First-Year and Second-Year Chinese have mandatory weekly one-on-one sessions between students and their teachers.) We take pride in our students, as our students take pride in their achievements. One indication of their level of proficiency is that we have trained true beginners (students with no prior training or knowledge of Chinese when they enter our program) who, in their senior year, can serve as peer tutors to our lower level students in various aspects of Chinese learning.

The Bi-Co Chinese program is nested within the Bi-Co East Asian Languages and Cultures Department. We serve EALC majors, Chinese minors, and any student who wishes to study the Chinese language. The Chinese minor is robust with many students coming from other departments, such as Economics, History, Linguistics, Anthropology, Growth and Structure of Cities, Psychology, Sociology, and other majors. We have students from the Natural Science departments in our classes and we would like to welcome more such students into our Minor.

Chinese Minor

Students who major in any discipline may minor in Chinese. A Chinese minor must do the following:

  • Take six semesters of Chinese language courses in our program.
  • Receive a minimum grade of 3.0 for each course.
  • >
  • Attain the minimum proficiency level of Third-Year Chinese upon completion.

Language credits from the approved Study-Abroad programs such as CET are acceptable if prior approval by the director of the Chinese program is obtained. Students who have prior knowledge of the language and are placed into Second-Year or higher level Chinese courses when they enter college still have enough courses to take to complete the minor requirement, since our Advanced Chinese series can be repeated for credits as topics vary from semester to semester.

Study Abroad

Our approved Study Abroad program is CET, which has a language program in four cities in China: Beijing, which also has a Chinese Studies program, Harbin, Shanghai, and Kunming. CET is well-known for its language pledge and its rigorous implementation of this requirement. Our students have a strong reputation at CET for honoring their language pledge and therefore benefiting enormously from this practice.

Other highly regarded and rigorous study abroad programs in other Chinese speaking regions might be considered but prior approval by the director of the program is required.


The East Asian Studies Program welcomes students who wish to combine their interests in East Asian languages with the study of an East Asian culture. These students are urged to consult the Co-Chair of East Asian studies on either campus, who will advise them on creating individual plans of study in appropriate departments.

The Japanese Language Program offers a full undergraduate curriculum of courses in Modern Japanese. Students who will combine language study with focused work on East Asian society and culture may wish to consider the major in East Asian Studies. Information about specific study abroad opportunities can be obtained from the director.

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College's foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing JNSE 003 and 004 with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in JNSE 004.

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